Microsoft to provide Free and Unlimited Technical Support to Rivals

Microsoft logo On Wednesday, Microsoft announced that it was prepared to provide free and unrestrained technical support to its competitors who are keen in making their products work with the software giant’s server products. . The proposal is Microsoft’s latest effort to meet the terms of a European Union antitrust verdict.

In the past, the company was only offering 500 hours of support free of charge to rivals as part of a possible deal.

The European Union antitrust bureau seemed to welcome the development, though said that it did not address the issue of Microsoft’s technical documentation. The European Commission has frequently said that what Microsoft has offered till date is inadequate and does not meet the standards set by the 497 million euro antitrust judgment.

A decision on whether Microsoft would be fined two million euros per day backdated to December 15 would come next week after the company has a chance to appeal their case, the EU said. In addition, the antitrust judgment is under appeal, and a hearing is set on that for late April.

Despite, Microsoft says its moves show a willingness to comply. In a statement Microsoft general counsel Brad Smith said, “These new documentation projects, together with free and unlimited technical support and access to Windows source code, will ensure that our competitors have all the assistance they need.”

The EU however, differs, saying the documentation should be adequate enough for rivals to make their software interoperate with Windows servers. A third-party appointed to evaluate the documentation claims that there are still significant gaps that Microsoft must deal with.